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Organic Gardening - Maintain a Healthy Growing Area

The key elements to maintaining a healthy growing area are set out below. As ever, all links will take you to detailed advice from Gardening Organic.

Keeping your soil in good condition

  • follow the guidelines set out in earlier articles to help reduce soil pests and diseases, and to encourage strong plant growth

  • Remember that weak plants are prone to attack from pests and diseases

Sourcing healthy plants that are suitable for conditions of your growing area

  • Check that any seeds, tubers, plants, fruit bushes, shrubs and trees you purchase are organic in origin, and show no signs of disease

  • Save your own seeds from healthy plants

  • Grow plants that suit the location and soil type - check the labels or ask the supplier

  • Choose varieties that have some resistance to pests and diseases

  • Grow a mix of plants to help increase biodiversity but also to prevent diseases from spreading

  • Avoid planting the same crops in the same place every year

  • Keep good airflow around plants

  • Water carefully

Being observant and spotting potential problems early

  • Look out for early signs of pests and diseases

  • Frequent and early intervention will stop problems escalating

Practicing good hygiene

  • Keep tools and other equipment clean to prevent transmission of diseases. Use hot water and natural cleaning products (e.g. vinegar, bicarbonate of soda) and not cleaning liquids or bleach

  • Wash down greenhouses and poyltunnels annually, inside and out. As well as removing pests and diseases it will ensure that as much sunlight as possible can get in

  • Check empty pots and containers before re-using to clear out overwintering pests

  • Make sure that any growing medium you use is either home made using organic practices, or is certified as being from an organic source, and is peat-free

  • Use homemade paper pots and wooden trays if possible or buy pots made from paper, plant wastes and other biodegradable products. Re-use plastic pots and containers.


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